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Seattle Jewish federation gunman retrial begins

NEW YORK (JTA) — The retrial of a gunman who carried out a fatal shooting at a Jewish organization in Seattle in 2006 is set to begin.

Opening statements were scheduled to start Wednesday.

Defense attorneys for Naveed Haq will try to convince jurors that their client was legally insane when he charged into the Greater Seattle Jewish Federation, shot federation worker Pam Waechter dead and wounded five others, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

A jury in 2008 said it could not determine whether Haq was in control of his faculties at the time of the shooting, thus making him accountable for his actions.

During the shooting incident, Haq made demands that U.S. troops pull out of Iraq and that Israel stop “pushing around” Palestinians, the Post-Intelligencer reported.

Prosecutors at the retrial will introduce new evidence of phone conversations between Haq and his mother recorded while he was incarcerated in which the defendant says he carried out the attack in order to become a martyr.

“You know I wanted to go to heaven. I want to be a jihadi,” he said in the phone recordings, according to the Post-Intelligencer. “I did it to be a jihadi.”

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